PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Stoke v Manchester City – the action from the Britannia Stadium as it happens
18:03 GMT, 24 March 2012
Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Stoke host Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium to conclude Saturday's action. Roberto Mancini's side go into the evening kick-off knowing a win would take them back to the top of the table having played a game more than rivals Manchester United. Email me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on twitter @Ripinho.
Stoke 0-0 Manchester City (5.30pm)
Click here for the live goals as they go in
Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross,
Huth, Wilson, Jerome, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Walters, Crouch.
Subs: Sorensen, Jones, Pennant, Upson, Delap, Shotton, Palacios.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards,
Toure, Clichy, Toure Yaya, Barry, Silva, Balotelli, Nasri, Dzeko.
Pantilimon, Milner, Johnson, Kolarov, Savic, Tevez, De Jong.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)
Click here for the live Premier League table
32min: From OptaJoe:
4 – Four Stoke City players (Huth, Wilkinson, Shawcross & Jerome) are yet to make a pass after 25 minutes of this game. Missing.
30min: And here is another as Ryan Shawcross is all over Mario Balotelli to concede a free-kick on the left flank.
Nasri's delivery this time is comfortably taken by Begovic.
28min: We are still waiting for a clear-cut chance. Too many small fouls are breaking up this game.
25min: Naughty from Dean Whitehead. While his attempt to win a header against David Silva looks innocent enough, he knows the rules and by leading with the elbow the Spaniard is clattered and needs treatment for a cut to the head.
I've seen Jermain Defoe sent off for a similar challenge.
22min: The Manchester City keeper gets his wish as the floodlights come on.
21min: Not too much happening, to the point where the highlight has been the lack of light.
Joe Hart has complained to the fourth official about the lack of visibility after the sun's glow left the pitch.
18min: Some tough challenges have restricted the tempo of this game as Glenn Whelan is treated with the magic sponge following a challenge on the ankle from Gareth Barry.
15min: Good response from the visitors. After some pressure around the box, David Silva fires an effort from 25 yards that takes a deflection before going out for a corner.
13min: Excellent from Stoke. Marc Wilson is straight to the point with his long ball into the box, and after Peter Crouch wins the knock on, Cameron Jerome just can't connect with a scissors kick as the ball rolls out for a goal kick.
10min: Stoke go straight up the other end and deliver a cross themselves but Joe Hart is alert to take Jonathan Walters' delivery.
9min: Good build up play from City who are looking sharp with one-touch passing but still failing to create much.
Gael Clichy's low cross easily gobbled up by Asmir Begovic.
6min: Not much since then though as both teams struggle to make any real use with the ball.
3min: That's a decent delivery from Samir Nasri, who lofts a free-kick to the back post.
Edin Dzeko attempts to get his head on it but he is just too short and that is saying something.
In a twist: Manchester City's David Silva (left) challenges Stoke's Robert Huth
Kick-off: Stoke get us underway.
17.28: Out come the players in a repeat of last season's FA Cup final – except there will be no 'Abide With Me' before the game this evening.
17.25: It's a lovely sunny evening at Stoke but you can bet the home fans will maintain their high partisan support to make this as difficult as possible for City.
The team though I am not no sure. They have very little to play for now but today will be a good indication to see if they 'are on the beach' yet.
17.22: I do love Roberto Mancini during a pre/post match interview.
When asked by ESPN what Aguero's injury is exactly, the Italian's response is simply: 'we don't know but he is injured.'
Poker face stuff from the Manchester City boss.
17.19: From InfostradaLive:
The last time Manchester City completed the double over Stoke City was 13 years ago, when both played in the third tier of English football
Down and out: Sergio Aguero (left) is ruled out for Manchester City
17.16: Sergio Aguero is ruled out as Manchester City look to reclaim top spot in the Barclays Premier League at Stoke tonight.
City's top scorer is missing at the Britannia Stadium after suffering a foot injury, his place up front going to Edin Dzeko. Gareth Barry returns for Nigel de Jong while Carlos Tevez is again among the substitutes.
Stoke reshape their midfield as Glenn Whelan, Matthew Etherington and Dean Whitehead replaced Salif Diao, Wilson Palacios and Jermaine Pennant.
17.13: From the Britannia Stadium:
Stoke v Man City
Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Jerome, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Walters, Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Jones, Pennant, Upson, Delap, Shotton, Palacios.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Toure, Clichy, Toure Yaya, Barry, Silva, Balotelli, Nasri, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Milner, Johnson, Kolarov, Savic, Tevez, De Jong.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)
17.10: 'Desperate' is how Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson described local and title rivals Manchester City this week.
While selecting a player who is under contract doesn't quite smack of desperation to me, we have seen many a Premier League team and manager crumble under the veteran United Boss's clever choice of words during a run in for the title – just ask Kevin Keegan and Rafael Benitez.
With a testing trip to Stoke in line for City, let's see how Roberto Mancini and co react to the start of the 'war of the words.' Team news on the way.
Here we go: David Silva and Manchester City target a return to the top of the Premier League